The Care and Feeding of Google Product Listing Ads (SMX West 2013)


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Retailers found themselves suddenly having to dust off their old "feeds" programs when Google started charging for its product listings. It's estimated to consume as much as 30% of some retailers' search ad budget, so how can you quickly get this program under control and working for you? Dana Todd takes a look at the issue from an organizational support point of view, in terms of staffing, funding and integration with other practices and departments.

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  • Right team: people who are very detail oriented, relentless. Also don’t just expect that search marketers or database marketers are best fits here. It may actually be that email marketers are a good fit, with merchandising training, or people from the merchandising dept with technical training.Merch strategy: yes bidding is important but this is really like managing a fluid storeshelf and constantly monitoring for profit margin and any trends in the data. Are high waisted jeans actually taking off this year? If so, adjust the feel and for sure tell the stores people. They need to be empowered in the merchdept/stores conversation.Integrated tactics – ditto. And affected heavily by print/PR in fashion mags or other print. Less so for TV ads but potentially for TV content such as shows, events, news.Technology: Feeds break and get dirty ALL THE TIME. Good technology should help you minimize the human effort here, and identify gaps and problems asap. It should also be flexible so that you can re-use the data in other campaigns and channels.Detail: goes without saying. There are a gaggle of devils in the details in the world of feeds. Your quality score is impacted heavily by hygiene and inventory, so make sure you have a QA process here that is airtight.
  • Data supplements: fleshing out descriptions to include more search KWs (still has to match landing page though), additional data such as reviews, videos, images, local data. Note that PLAs are starting to show Google Shopping reviews
  • Recycle your feed, not just into other CSEs but also emerging opportunities. Did you know you can connect a product feed to a banner ad? Companies like Advanse Ads will optimize the product mix inside the banner itself, automatically, and can connect to retargeting data. There’s a company called Media River that’s experimenting with putting products on second tier content as a monetization strategy. All kinds of things, so it’s not just about Google. Make sure that you’re planning for the future and designing a solid strategy for quality and flexibility.Mobile: the biggest disruption to come, and where most retailers struggle. Mobile is very much tied to local, but also it’s about creating a great mobile experience. Fast loading! Primarily pictures! That also load Fast!Local. Again, retailers struggle to grab this opportunitiy. They simply don’t have the capability to do realtime local inventory updates – YET. I would suggest you make this an area for investment, if you’re a retailer. Given that at Performics we now see approximately 25% of all search traffic coming from tablet and mobile, it’s finally worth the effort. And frankly, it’ll take you years to get it to work so start now.Showrooming: MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE UPC code number in the data feed for people who are scanning. Note that 28% of Performics LOD survey respondents said they also scan AFTER purchase, to find out how to use stuff or possibly to share. You may want to tie it to a video series, to better engage people and get them to participate in secondary loyalty marketing campaigns.Next gen: in store! Kiosks and OOH are seriously getting cool now. At CES, there were a number of advances from companies like LG and Samsung that are focused on making store signage a lot more like Minority Report, and also “shoppable” right there on the spot. Given that 90% of all retail purchases STILL happen outside of ecommerce, this could be the crossover opportunity we’ve been waiting for. Combine it with mobile as the connector (and search as the remote control UI), and the future of feeds looks very very bright!!!!
  • The Care and Feeding of Google Product Listing Ads (SMX West 2013)

    1. 1. The Care and Feeding ofProduct Listing Ads (PLAs) Dana Todd SVP Global Marketing @danatodd @performics
    2. 2. @danatodd @performicsAgenda Building a Nurturing Home Feeding the Beast Teaching New Tricks 2
    3. 3. Building a Nurturing Home 3
    4. 4. Key Ingredients Right team Merchandising strategy Integrated tactics Technology Attention to detail 4
    5. 5. Feeding the Beast 5
    6. 6. Daily Checklist A clean feed is a healthy feed! Nutritional data supplements Image is everything What are you testing? Optimize, spot check Check business rules 6
    7. 7. Teaching New Tricks 7
    8. 8. Maximizing the Opportunity Recycle Mobile is key Local Showrooming Next generation 8
    9. 9. Thank YouFollow me on Twitter! @danatodd 9